Freo's View

LOCAL COUNCILS NEED TO LIFT THEIR GAME

Posted in city of fremantle, community, local government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2019

 

Local government is clearly close to our heart because statistics in the annual report of the Local Government Standards Panel show that complaints about local councils and councillors have risen significantly.

The City of Melville and the shires of Capel and Toodyay are on the top of the list for complaints about elected members.

Compared to 82 complaints the previous year the 2018/19 annual report shows 126 complaints.

I feel a bit sorry for local councillors as it is humanely impossible to please everyone, but there is absolutely no doubt either that many complaints are relevant.

Local councils need to lift their game and listen to the community, rather than paying lip service through so-called community consultation, which is often ignored when councillors make decisions, hence many of us often feel ignored and taken for granted by those we elected to represent us.

Roel Loopers

CHALLENGING FREMANTLE PORT FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2019

 

The protest yesterday by the MUA-Maritime Union of Australia in front of Minister Simone McGurk’s office in Fremantle made me wonder why the union is not engaged in finding solutions.

It is by now well known that Fremantle Port can easily handle many more containers and could remain a working port for another 20-25 years, but that the issues are with how freight gets to and from the port, so has the MUA offered any ideas on how to solve that?

Why does MUA’s Chris Cain not sit down with Fremantle Ports, the trucking and stevedore companies and try to find solutions so that they get the people in North Fremantle and near Leach highway on their side?

I am always skeptical about a layperson offering quick solutions, so my suggestions are merely meant to be the start of a discussion among the experts.

Why not demand, or even enforce, 24/7 freight on road, more after business hours movement, so that there is less congestion during the day time?

Why not encourage or enforce that trucks can not arrive empty to pick up containers, but also have to deliver on the same trip? That might require more computerised collaboration between trucking companies, but it would make freight by road more efficient and hence more cost efficient. A win win for all.

Trucks that can only transport one single container should be banned as it is inefficient and clogs up roads. Coming back from the dentist yesterday I was at a North Fremantle traffic light where I saw nine trucks coming through and all of them just carrying one container. That is silly.

More freight on rail is also helpful but there is an issue with noise and vibration for people in the west end of Fremantle, and the current line cannot handle double stacking, so growth is limited even when a new bridge is built.

Fremantle Port is one of the most efficient ports in Australia so the MUA members clearly know what they are doing, so they should put their considerable experience toward trying to make the freight part of the operation more efficient and less of a burden on the local community.

And one more word to Chris Cain and his threat that the Member for Fremantle will be gone at the next election. Do you really believe that Lisa-I should think before I speak-Harvey and Bill-I must have been absent when God handed out brains-Marmion will be more supportive of the MUA than the current government?

Simone McGurk is a very hard working and excellent minister who has some very challenging portfolios, such as child protection and domestic violence. She does not deserve the MUA threat.

I love the working port and hope it will remain for a very long time, but consideration must also be given to the residents in North Fremantle and along the road and rail freight corridors, so it is a much bigger issue than just jobs for wharfies.  The MUA should be pro-active in investigation which kind of new jobs a new port might have to offer and assist in retraining some of their members.

But there is no need for panic as a new port if built at Kwinana will be a very slow and long process, and Chris Cain will long have retired by then and I will be long dead.

Roel Loopers

MUA WANTS FREMANTLE PORT TO STAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on September 18, 2019

 

MUA 6

 

The Maritime Union of Australia-MUA protested early this morning outside the office of Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk in Fremantle’s Market Street.

The MUA is not at al happy that the state government has been investigating through the Westport Taskforce what the future of Fremantle Port will be, with the preferred option a move to a new port at Kwinana.

The loud protest heard MUA branch secretary Chris Cain warn Simone McGurk that she will be gone at the next election.

The MUA is clearly worried about wharfies losing jobs at an automated new port, but the reality is that even if the state government decides to build a very expensive new port in Cockburn Sound it will take at least 15 years for it to be realised and replace our Freo port.

Roel Loopers

 

FREO HIGH STREET UPGRADE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2019

 

High 6

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade project is one step closer to realisation with all the buildings now demolished and removed.

The Mainroads project hopes to make freigh transport to and from Fremantle Port, faster, safer and smoother, with a new large roundabout planned at the Stirling Highway intersection where many trucks have overturned in the past.

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S FISHING BOAT HARBOUR

 

The Strategic Planning and Transport Committee of Fremantle Council will on Wednesday consider the City’s position on the Fishing Boat Harbour and probable future development in the precinct.

The Officer’s Recommendation for Councillors to consider is:

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION

Council:

1. Adopts the following as a statement of its current position in respect of the future of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour:

  1. The Council recognises the Fishing Boat Harbour as a vital part of Fremantle City Centre, both in terms of its function as an employment and activity centre and visitor destination, and is supportive of investment and appropriate new development to sustain the harbour into the future. This can be most effectively achieved through the preparation of a comprehensive up-to-date plan for the whole of the Fishing Boat Harbour to guide investment, activities and development.
  2. The harbour should be recognised as a component of the Fremantle City Centre, and as a part of the state’s marine network. It should not be treated as an isolated precinct.
  3. The harbour should continue to operate as an authentic working harbour with fishing fleet-related and other marine industries.
  4. Landside infrastructure and services to support ongoing use of the harbour by a range of commercial and recreational vessels (including boat lifting facilities with no less lifting capacity than current facilities) should be maintained, or suitably replaced if existing facilities/services are affected by development proposals. Review and redefinition of necessary infrastructure in collaboration with the fishing fleet industry should occur.
  5. Management of land uses within the harbour to minimise conflict and contain non-marine uses (such as entertainment and tourism uses) should continue. The harbour ‘zones’ defined in policy DGF10 should be used as a starting point for guiding land use locations, but with some flexibility.
  6. Any proposal to introduce noise sensitive land uses (e.g. short or long stay accommodation) should acknowledge the primacy of the working harbour function, and demonstrate provisions to manage any potential conflict (for example built form noise mitigation measures, management arrangements, title/lease notifications).
  7. Employment-generating uses not directly related to maritime industries and/or needing a harbour location should complement, not draw away, investment in the Fremantle City Centre core. Specifically, retail and office uses should only be supported where they are directly related and/or incidental to the primary marine or tourism related use. Convenience retailing should not be supported.
  1. Built form in any new development should respond to existing context and sense of place, and harmonise with the traditional low profile coarse grain industrial character of the area (whilst still making adequate provision for pedestrians and passive surveillance). Views to and connection with the water from the public realm should be provided. Some additional height beyond the typical height of existing harbour buildings could be entertained on a single key site if a development could demonstrably deliver significant public benefits and amenity in the vicinity.
  2. Any substantial new development proposal (particularly anything large scale) should be subject to formal design review (potentially by the State Design Review Panel).
  3. Coordinated improvement of the public domain to establish a more coordinated and amenable pedestrian and cycling environment is supported. Any redevelopment of the public domain should avoid a net loss of parking (incorporating nodal parking provided at the entrance).
  4. Key connections and vistas should be retained and reinforced. Connection to the Esplanade, Bathers Beach and to the waterfront should be improved and made more legible. Extension of Norfolk Street should be pursued as the primary entrance to the harbour.
  5. Establishment of public infrastructure necessary to facilitate improvement of the harbour and funding and contribution mechanisms to achieve these should occur as a priority to ensure a coordinated and equitable approach. This should involve contribution to Norfolk St extension/relocated railway crossing, public realm enhancements and waterfront access.
  6. Car parking provision and management should recognise the different needs of different harbour user groups. Day tourists and visitors to the harbour should be provided with a consolidated parking venue/s at or near the entrance/s to the harbour (potentially supported by cash in lieu payments for new development) and encouraged to walk into it rather than seek parking within the precinct. Conversely the operational requirements of marine industries and maritime activities need to be accommodated within the harbour.
  7. Any significant expansion of tourism function or introduction of residential uses should incorporate or facilitate a high quality area of open space including green elements.

2. Notes continued officer participation in the process of Fishing Boat Harbour visioning and policy review and in doing so officers will advance Council’s position outlined in (1) above.

Roel Loopers

 

Comments Off on THE FUTURE OF FREO’S FISHING BOAT HARBOUR

HIGH STREET PROJECT SECURITY WASTE OF MONEY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, state government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2019

 

One has to wonder why Mainroads is wasting so much money on having 24/7 security guards at the Fremantle High Street Upgrade project. They are now ‘protecting’ bare soil as the homes have been demolished so there is nothing to vandalise or steal.

The formers occupants have stated they will not protest as a deal was done about planting thousands of sapplings to compensate for the loss of trees.

Roel Loopers

 

Comments Off on HIGH STREET PROJECT SECURITY WASTE OF MONEY

THERE ARE NO SIMPLE PORT SOLUTIONS

 

 

About one hundred people turned up at the North Fremantle community hall on Tuesday evening to ask questions about the future of Fremantle Port, which were answered by Nicole Lockwood, the chair of the Westport Taskforce, Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter, Curtin university professor Peter Newman and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

In the audience were also members from the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association and Fremantle Society president John Dowson, as well as Fremantle Councillors Jones, Archibald and Sullivan.

Nicole Lockwood told us that the so-called Blue Highway of putting containers on barges to ship them to Kwinana was very common all around the world. It is option 3 on the  shortlist.

It does not matter if the government selected the Roe 8 or Leach Highway options because both are flawed as the problem of the last mile to cross the river and getting freight into port was the problematic one that has not been resolved.

But it will take at least ten years to do anything new at all, and in the meantime we should be getting a new traffic bridge with a dedicated freight rail line on it.

Chris Leatt-Hayter said that Fremantle Ports is supportive of the Westport Taskforce and that it is a rigorous, fair and sound process. Fremantle Port could handle ships of up to 350 metres long and that were the biggest ones coming to Australia currently.

Leatt-Hayter said that the same number of trucks came to the port now as they did ten years ago, because many more containers were transported by rail and fewer trucks came or left empty.

The Port do not take the community for granted and try to minimise the impact of their operations. It has 78% support from the community to continue the Freo working port!

Mayor Brad Pettitt said that the working port is very much part of Fremantle’s identity and who we are and that it is good for our economy and provides thousands of port related jobs, but what happens on land needs to be managed as it impacts on the community. The shift onto rail is the key. “We want to keep the working port as long as we can.”

Professor Peter Newman wants the ASAP solution of having a new port in Kwinana as soon as possible because he believes litheum exports will substantially increase the number of containers.”We need a new technology port.”

The Q&A did not have many specific North Fremantle questions but Leatt-Hayter said that freight on rail had issues because it goes right past the Roundhouse and close to residential apartments.

Nicole Lockwood said a tunnel is far more problematic in the Perth region and even more so at the river mouth and that putting trains through a tunnel would mean they end up somewhere near Rottnest because of the gradient. Cost efficiency was also a major factor.

Aboriginal woman Corina Abrahams said that there was not enough concern for the cultural heritage and that we should not ruin Cockburn Sound. Common sense needs to prevail.

One community speaker said the solution was a dedicated lane for autonomous trucks that could run 24/7 and would create a lot less noise than the diesel trucks.

Nicole Lockwood said the state government needed to do two things at once; planning for the long term and improving for the short term. Significant investment would be needed in the next ten years with at least six major projects to improve the Fremantle Port operations, including widening Curtin Avenue. “Perth just does not have enough river crossings.”

North Freo resident Anne Forma said there had been a lot of talk and a lot of plans but nothing had happened and that the 2010 plans could have been implemented by now. “Investment in Fremantle Port is not a long term solution.”

Roel Loopers

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR SENIORS AWARDS

Posted in city of fremantle, community, seniors, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2019

 

Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray has led the call for nominations ahead of the 2019 WA Seniors Awards.

The annual awards recognise and celebrate the State’s most remarkable seniors, while acknowledging organisations working to improve the lives of older Western Australians.

The awards will recognise both the metropolitan and regional WA Senior of the Year, as well as the WA Age Friendly Local Government of the Year and the WA Age Friendly Business of the Year.

Entries can be lodged by members of the general public or by organisations, with nominations closing at 5pm on October 4, 2019.

The 2019 WA Seniors Awards are presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the McGowan Government and are promoted as part of WA Seniors Week celebrations, which run from November 10-17.

For more information and to nominate an outstanding senior, visit https://www.cotawa.org.au

 

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR SENIORS AWARDS

HIGH STREET UPGRADE DEMOLITION

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2019

 

 

It did not take long to demolish the service station, houses and Fern along Fremantle’s High Street to make way for the High Street Upgrade project that will see a new roundabout at Stirling Highway and a widening of the road. It will allow for a smoother journey for freight trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

ROAD AND RAIL NOISE PROTECTION FOR COMMUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, noise, state government, traffic, trains, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2019

 

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today released the revised State Planning Policy 5.4 road and rail noise, which aims to balance the needs of transport corridors with protecting the community from unreasonable amounts of noise.

The new policy will help develop better land use and development outcomes around major transport corridors, including METRONET and the McGowan Government’s social and affordable housing package that will be built around station precincts.

  • Revised State Planning Policy 5.4 on road and rail noise released following public consultation
  • Updated policy aims to balance the needs of transport corridors while protecting the community from unreasonable noise
  • Will broadly apply to new residential developments within 300 metres of a transit corridor
  • New guidelines will support delivery of major McGowan Government election commitments including METRONET

The review was overseen by the Western Australian Planning Commission and involved an extensive public consultation period, with 62 stakeholder submissions received.

The new policy balances the community’s need for amenity and quiet while also recognising the need for important freight and transit corridors.

It aims to ensure noise impacts are addressed as early as possible in the planning process and encourages best practice around noise mitigation design and construction standards.

The updated policy will apply broadly to new residential developments proposed within 300 metres of a specified transport corridor and to new or major upgrades of roads and railways.

In addition to simplifying the assessment and implementation process, the policy and associated guidelines will:

  • Provide guidance on ‘quiet house’ design requirements such as building orientation, window glazing and insulation;
  • Introduce mapping and trigger distances that demonstrate areas to which the policy applies;
  • Prioritise strategic freight routes and ensure noise mitigation measures are suitable for the function of the route and the proposed or current land use; and
  • Provide better guidance on the content and form of noise management plans.

For more information, visit http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/spp5-4

 

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on ROAD AND RAIL NOISE PROTECTION FOR COMMUNITY

%d bloggers like this: